Silent Partner

After he wins a controversial case, a young black lawyer has been invited to his boss’s for dinner. The assumption is that it is to announce him making partner. This is what he has always wanted. But something still does not sit well with him. Nor his pregnant wife. Is it because of the case which he was tasked with defending a rich white woman who had been charged with the killing of a black male teen? Or the fact that it becomes more and more apparent to him how inherently racist the white firm he works for is?

While this might be a case of beating you over the head with its message, sometimes it is warranted. For centuries blacks have been held back by systematically racist systems. Not given equal opportunities for success. In a mere 16 minutes director Aristotle Torres’s film shows you what a person of colour has to deal with on a daily basis. In two respects – if they are a black person at work they will be treated awfully and if they are a young black male teen they have a higher than average chance of being killed and no one held accountable for their death.

All these micro-aggressions or flat out violence take their toll. A toll, on their physical and mental health, which is never really acknowledged. Plus that feeling that you have to be better than a white person by a large margin to even be acknowledged. In the short run time of the film, we see the price paid even by the best of people. The black lawyer is trying to deal with all this the best he can. His wiggle room is so slim that he ends up in a corner.

Another aspect of the film is the hope that it can compel white people to either see themselves here and change their behaviour or….really just change our behaviour. Even if we are not the ones being overtly racist; we can no longer just remain silent. Being bystanders is no longer acceptable. Contained within is a call to action on behalf of whites.

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